2.Hiring and retaining qualified IT staff: Though it’s never been more important than now [think: cloud implementation, demands in student services, and requirements for security] to make investments in highly-skilled IT employees, 74 percent of survey respondents report that IT salaries are not competitive, 26 percent report reduced staffing, and 18 percent report funding cuts for professional development.
3.Providing user support: According to CCP data, less than 3 in 10 IT officers say that they do an excellent job in training faculty—a number that drops to 10 percent when discussing students. “So we have this big gap between the priority in things that they have to provide and the things that they actually do,” Green noted.
However, CIOs do say that assessment of digital resources and services for disabled users are very important issues. For instance, in most cases, it’s individual faculty members who teach a course that are responsible for making it accessible; yet, they are not trained to handle these issues. And only 50 percent of institutions have a strategic plan for ADA, Sec. 503 compliance.
“Ironically, the day we announced these results, Penn State was sued by the National Federation for the Blind concerning ADA access related to its LMS,” said Green. “So this is an issue that’s not going to go away…IT officers should be in conversation with faculty and on-campus offices that help disabled students to best provide services, and in the right way.”
4.Upgrading and enhancing network and data security: 46 percent of those surveyed had experienced an attack on the campus network in 2015, and 50 percent increased their IT spending toward this priority.
5.Leveraging IT resources to support student success (The Completion Agenda): Though this was reported as a major priority, only 21 percent assess the impact of IT on instruction, and just 27 percent report IT investments in analytics to be “very effective.” CIOs also noted that though the software has been purchased, little training has been done.
For much more information about rating the IT infrastructure, movement to the cloud, waning confidence in MOOCs, the growing use of video lecture capture, institutional demography of LMS providers, and much more, read the full survey report here, and watch the webinar here.